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Israel says it recovers 3 bodies of festivalgoers slain by Hamas


TEL AVIV — Israeli officials on Friday announced that their forces in Gaza had recovered the bodies of three revelers killed by Hamas attackers near the Supernova, or Nova, music festival on Oct. 7.

According to Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari the three — Shani Louk, 23, Amit Buskila, 28, and Itzik Gelenter, 57 — ran from the festival but were chased and killed by Hamas terrorists. Their bodies were later taken to Gaza.

Ricarda Louk sits in front of a placard of her missing daughter Shani Louk.
Shani Louk’s mother, Ricarda Louk.Maya Alleruzzo / AP file

“No father would want to hear this news,” Louk’s father, Nissim Louk, said in a statement. “We knew that she was murdered. Today the army officers came to our house and told us the news. They showed us pictures of Shani who still looked great.”

“Her happy life was cut short. She was a special person,” he added.

The three bodies were found together Thursday in a tunnel during a military operation in Gaza, Hagari said.

A photo of Shani’s mutilated body lying in the back of a pickup truck soon after the attack shocked many in Israel and around the world, and brought home the brutality of the Hamas attack. Weeks later, a portion of her body was found and she was declared dead.

Hagari would not specify where exactly the bodies were found except to say that they were found in the area of Rafah in southern Gaza. He added that Israeli forces used information garnered during the interrogation of captured Hamas fighters.

“Their bodies were transferred to medical professionals for forensic examination and identification,” Hagari said. “After the procedure was complete, we notified their families.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “heartbroken for the great loss.”

“We will return all our hostages, both the living and the dead,” said Netanyahu, who has come under intense pressure from families of hostages desperate for the return of their loved ones.

More than 250 people were taken hostage during Hamas’ multipronged surprise terror attack. Around half of those have since been freed. According to Israeli officials, 100 hostages are still being held in Gaza, along with the bodies of some 30 more.

Hamas fighters and other militants killed some 1,200 people on Oct. 7, which triggered Israeli airstrikes, bombings and a ground incursion. Israel’s war in Gaza since the attack has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials.

Meanwhile, Israeli operations are expanding in and around the city of Rafah, which Israeli officials have designated a safe zone for Palestinian civilians. With most of Gaza’s population has been driven from their homes, Rafah became a refuge for more than a million people. But in the past weeks, a series of Israeli incursions have forced some 600,000 to leave.

On Friday, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said its ambulance and emergency teams in Rafah were still responding “to the repercussions of the Israeli aggression in various areas of #Rafah Governorate, despite evacuating the PRCS headquarters.”



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